In this section we learn about arguments against the existence of a Judeo-Christian type of God. We examine both the arguments and critiques of the arguments.
Readings for Quiz 6
The readings and videos for this section are:
- DP Ch 5 Read the “Atheism,” section up to but not including the “Volitional Justification of Religious Belief” section
- Read J. L. Mackie’s Evil and Omnipotence. This is a famous paper on the Problem of Evil. It is a little difficult. Focus on the highlighted areas. Download Mackie on Problem of Evil.pdf
- Read the third Module item: “Outline of J. L. Mackie’s argument in “Evil and Omnipotence.” This will help you understand Mackie’ paper.
- Study Problem of Evil Lecture Notes.
Study Questions for Quiz 6
1. Marx says religion is “the opium of the people.” What does he mean by this? Write a full paragraph at least
2. Why does Sigmund Freud oppose religious belief?
3. Why does Mackie think the Free Will Solution does not work? (Read the highlighted portions of his paper (pdf above), In addition, what is an example of a situation where even if humans act freely, you could argue God is also responsible.
4. Mackie claims that “Evil is necessary as a means to good” does not solve the problem of evil. Explain his argument. (Read the highlighted portions of his paper (pdf above)
5. Why does Mackie think that “Evil is a necessary counterpart to good” (Knowledge Defense) is not a good defense? (Read the highlighted portions of his paper (pdf above)
6. In addition to the problem of evil, what are other philosophical contradictions or puzzles that arise from God’s “Omni” attributes – like Omniscience and Omnipotence?
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